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UAAP 80 Softball – Finals G3 – AdU def UST – Rusia
UAAP 80 Softball – Finals G3 – AdU def UST – Rusia

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Jenette Rusia seizes the moment, takes MVP tiara


When Jenette Rusia was announced as the Most Valuable Player for the UAAP Season 80 Softball tournament, the gallery at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium exploded with cheers. Amid the sea of people that flooded the pitch, the smile on coach Ana Santiago’s face stood out.

Finally, Rusia had her moment.

Back in Season 77, Rusia’s rookie season was cut short due to injury. Then the next two years proved to be as challenging for the Bacolod native. Santiago chose not to field her in as the Adamson University Lady Falcons were loaded from 1 to 9.

Seeing Rusia’s work ethic, Santiago decided to give her a shot during the off-season heading into Season 80.

UAAP-80-Softball-AdU-def-UP-Rusia Jenette Rusia seizes the moment, takes MVP tiara AdU News Softball UAAP  - philippine sports news

“Actually, two years ko siyang hindi pinalaro, pina-stop ko siya. So, dahil gumraduate na sila Queeny [Sabobo] at [Angelie] Ursabia, nakita ko yung pag-improve niya. Sabi ko, baka siya na yung ilalaban ko sa pang-home run namin,” shared Santiago about the 20-year-old slugger.

“At least, inano niya sa sarili niya na pagkakataon niya ito — na hindi lang siya lagi nasa likuran.”

“Nung una wala talaga, injured e. Sinasabi ko na lang sa sarili ko na kapag ginamit ako ni Coach Ana, bibigay ko yung best ko,” recalled the 20-year-old outfielder.

“Sabi nga niya, darating yung time na para sa akin.”

But the UAAP was a different animal. The product of the famed Domingo Lacson High School admitted that she’d had to shake off nerves during her first at-bat for the season.

“Nung first game ko, kinakabahan ako nun. Sinabi ko na lang na laro lang ito,” she added.

“Sinasabi ko lang sa sarili ko nun na kailangan ko bigay lahat. Lahat ng kababayan ko malakas e.”

Once she got going, there was no one stopping her.

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Rusia ended up being the league-leader in RBIs and home runs. Moreover, she proved pivotal during Game Two of the Finals that saw Adamson knot their Finals series with the UST Tiger Softbelles at 1-all.

“Ginawa kong inspirasyon yung lahat ng years na hindi ako ni-lineup ni coach Ana. Nilagay ko lang sa isipan ko na kailangan ngayon, ibuhos ko na yung lahat,” she shared.

As the dust settled, the Lady Falcons were able to extend their dynasty to eight golden years. Rusia, on the other hand, now has a championship she can call her own.UAAP-80-Softball-Finals-G3-AdU-def-UST-Champions Jenette Rusia seizes the moment, takes MVP tiara AdU News Softball UAAP  - philippine sports news

With another season ending, a new batch of Lady Falcons will leave Adamson’s nest. With this, she will be looked upon as one of the leaders of the next batch.

But even after her trophy haul, Rusia knows that she still has plenty of things to improve before she can earn her stripe.

“Madami pa kong kailangan i-improve.”

Based on how she performed this season, Rusia will welcome this new challenge with open arms.

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